London - Rafa Nadal might have been condemned to a lowly 10th seeding at Wimbledon but he remains a floater everyone will want to avoid after getting his campaign off to an impressive start with a straight-sets dismissal of Thomaz Bellucci on Tuesday.
The twice champion, who has slipped down the sport's pecking order after 18 months of injury and below-par performances, showed glimpses of his power and determination in a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 win over Brazil's Bellucci on a sun-drenched Number One Court.
If the draw goes to plan Nadal will have to get past Andy Murray and Roger Federer to earn a shot at a third title, potentially against top seed Novak Djokovic in the final.
Federer meanwhile began his 63rd consecutive grand slam
tournament with a majestic 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 first-round win over little-known
Bosnian Damir Dzumhur.
The Swiss second
seed's pursuit of a record eighth title at the All England Club could
not have started more convincingly as he broke the Wimbledon debutant
five times to draw rapturous applause from the Federer faithfuls who had
flocked to see their hero on Centre Court.
started off with an unreturnable serve, threw in some crowd-pleasing
volleys before finishing off Dzumhur with a love service game to chalk
up his 74th victory at the citadel of grasscourt tennis.
The world number two will next face either Dutchman Igor Sijsling or big-serving American Sam Querrey.